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80 Square Mile Fruit Fly Quarantine Issued in Long Beach Between Central and Norwalk Boulevard

LONG BEACH (CNS) - An 80-square-mile area centered in Long Beach has
been placed under a fruit-and-vegetable quarantine by state officials following
the discovery of eight guava fruit flies in the area, the California Department
of Food and Agriculture announced today.
   Residents living in the quarantine area are being urged not to move any
fruits or vegetables from their property. Fruits and vegetables can be eaten,
frozen, cooked or ground in a garbage disposal only on the property where they
were picked, according to the state.
   The quarantine area stretches from Southern Avenue to East Stearns
Street, between Central Avenue and Norwalk Boulevard. A map is available online
at www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/gff/regulation.html.
   The guava fruit fly is considered a serious agricultural threat that can
damage a wide variety of tree fruit, according to the state. Agricultural
officials are carrying out a ``male attractant'' eradication technique, in
which small patches of fruit fly attractant mixed with pesticide are placed on
trees and other surfaces.
   Agricultural officials said the female flies lay eggs inside fruit, and
the eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel through the fruit. The flies have
caused extensive damage to crops in countries such as Pakistan, India and
   Flies are generally carried into the state by people who illegally bring
back fruits and vegetables when returning from infested regions.